Coming down heavily on the Indian Government over the offer of boats and fishing equipment to Sri Lanka, PMK founder S Ramadoss said such assistance was a betrayal of Tamil Nadu fishermen, whose vessels are seized by the island nation, the New Indian Express reported.
In a statement he said there were reports of the Centre providing 150 boats and fishing equipment for 300 fishermen at a cost of Indian Rs. 4.5 crore in Sri Lanka. “Without an iota of doubt, it is an act of betrayal against fishermen from Tamil Nadu,” he said. “How can this assistance could be viewed as a goodwill gesture to Sri Lanka, which has been acting against the Tamil Nadu fishermen?” he asked.
Noting that 99 fishermen from the State have been arrested by Colombo in the last two months, he said 82 boats have also been seized. Moreover, there is no assurance that this goodwill gesture would benefit Tamils in Mullaithivu, he added.
“India may consider extending the goodwill gesture only if the Lankan authorities are releasing our fishermen and their boats. Till then, the Government should not offer any such assistance to the island nation,” Ramadoss said. (Colombo Gazette)